Taiyo Matsumoto's 600+ page manga masterpiece Tekkonkinkreet: Black & White is utterly unlike any comic I've ever read, a thrilling fusion of French and Japanese comic-book styles that scintillates with originality, daring, adventure and metaphysics. Black and White are the Cat Brothers, a pair of ultraviolent lost boys who rule Treasure Town, a surreal Japanese pleasure-ville where hoods and cops and gangsters battle for dominance. Black is violent, cunning and brilliant; White is naive, foolish, and sweet. They are ten years old, and they complete each other.
But Treasure Town is in flux: new powers are come to the city, and as it sickens, so do Black and White, who are, in some metaphysical way, its soul and avatar. The story moves between Black and White's struggles to remain together and defend their turf and the huge political upheavals underway in the adult world.
Unapologetically weird, violent and sweetly sentimental about cities, Tekkonkinkreet is a valentine to cities everywhere, the biggest machines humans have built, ever on the verge of collapse, magnificent even so. Matsumoto learned his craft in France, studying its visual and storytelling styles and Tekkonkinkreet mixes everything from Metal Hurlant to Tin Tin alongside the manga visuals and mythos. There's not one thing unlovable about this comic — it is 612 pages of pure win. Absolutely extraordinary.
I see that there's a movie based on the comics, and that it got pretty good reviews. I've ordered a copy — I'll let you know if I like it when I get a chance to see it.